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AFRICAN MIGRANTS

Thoughts and Reflections on African Migration and Settlement in Australia.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Refugee Policy Reform

This week has witnessed some significant new developments in relation to the controversial issue of mandatory (and indefinite) detention of refugees and asylum-seekers in Australia.

In fact, Liberal politicians are taking important steps towards a just and more humane refugee policy.

Two Private Member’s Bills have been proposed by Petro Georgiou (Liberal-Victoria). The first Bill is a “Bill for an act of compassion”, which seeks to give permanent resident status for holders of temporary protection visas - a welcome news to the refugee advocates.

The second Bill is a “Bill for an Act to reform the mandatory detention system”. Its principal objective is to place a 90-day limit on the detention of refugees and asylum-seekers.

Both Bills will be discussed behind closed doors, in the Liberal Party room, although there is no guarantee of an open debate in the Australian Parliament.

Watch this spot!

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